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2020: Ondo Women Insist On 35% Affirmative Action

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…Demand For Deputy Governor Or SSG Position Slot

By Niyi Olutunde, Akure

Ahead of the 2020 Ondo state governorship election, the Association of Female Politicians (AFP), has urged women in the state to start participating in politics at their respective local government areas to enable them achieve the 35 percent representation in line with the affirmative action.

Chairman of the group, Mrs. Janet Adeyemi made the call in Akure on Tuesday at a press conference in commemoration of the June 12 democracy day.

According to Mrs Adeyemi who was represented by Mrs Adebunmi Osadahun, “Over the 20 year period from 1999-2019, Ondo state women have continued to witness abysmal representative percentages across the state. This unacceptable low representation further reduced, drastically to 3.8% with just one female representative presently in the state House of Assembly, and none in the federal house of assembly and the senate”.

Adeyemi however tasked all political parties in the state to pick women as their running mate for the governorship election in the interest of Ondo women.

She also said that the position of Secretary to the State Government (SSG) should either considered for women or the Deputy Governor.

“Ondo women are ready work, and fully participate in politics in order to have our own share in government come 2020 governorship election. The 35% affirmation action must be implemented this time around”, Adeyemi said.

Similarly, one of the leader of the group, Mrs. Omowumi Ohwovoriole said despite the fact that Nigeria is a signatory to several International instruments affirming women’s rights and equality with men (World Bank, 1994), and the high level of education of Ondo state citizens, it is unfortunate that the state is among the most gender insensitive states in Nigeria.

Mrs Ohwovoriole said, “Party structure in Ondo state has done nothing to encourage gender inclusion in its polity. Currently, Ondo state ranks high among the states where very few women have participated in the management of Nigerian public institutions such as political parties, legislative assemblies and executive councils, which are depicted as “male clubs”.

She however called on Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to hearken to the voice of women in the state and ensure a change of this negative narrative, which has led to lack of political interest and created sense of injustice and marginalisation in women in Ondo state.

“We implore Governor Akeredolu to see women as partners in progress in the state, and insist on massive increase in appointment of credible women into key political offices”, she added.

Mrs Ohwovoriole who was former commissioner for women affairs under Governor Akeredolu also called on all the state governors across the nation to entrench the 35% affirmative action through adequate appointment of women into key political offices in places where there is a shortfall in female elective representation.

Dr. (Mrs) Yemi Mahmud, former commissioner for women affairs who also spoke during the press conference said, “the time has come for the women of this country to fully join politics to make the difference as voting alone is not enough to change the way things should go in Nigeria. Women of virtue should come out of their cocoons and from their respective professions and contest for political offices as that is the only way to fight being relegated to the back seat.”

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